Samsung unveils 3GB HDD smart phone

Seven megapixel 'professional' camera handset too

CeBIT 2005 Samsung today announced what it claims is the world's first phone with a seven megapixel digital camera built in.

And it's not your average phone camera at that. The SCH-V770 provides a 3x optical zoom - and a 5x digital zoom - autofocus facility, flash, full manual mode, 1/2000th of a second shutter speed, and scope to add additional lenses. It can capture 320 x 240 video at 15-30fps.

This "high quality digital camera" will appeal as much to professionals as more casual photographers, said Samsung's telecommunications division president Ki-Tae Lee. The company hopes the V770 will particularly appeal to photo-journalists, he added.

Flip the 12.7 x 5.2 x 2.7cm handset over and it looks like a traditional phone, though its 2in, 240 x 320 display is capable of showing more than 16m colours. It has integrated TV-out, too. There's an MMC Micro slot on board to complement the built-in 32MB of RAM - a little small, perhaps, for a 7mp camera.

The 180g handset doubles up as an MP3 player, and sports a digital audio amplifier. It support 64-voice polyphonic ringtones.

For now at least, the V770 will remain a CDMA handset aimed at the Far East market.

Not so the SGH-i300 hard disk-equipped smart phone, which Samsung also demo'd at CeBIT 2005 this week. It's a tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM/GPRS phone that manages to fit a 3GB hard drive into its 11.3 x 4.8 x 2cm casing. Samsung wasn't saying who makes the compact HDD - it could be Samsung itself, it could be Toshiba, though it's working on a 2GB model, with a 4GB unit to follow, not 3GB.

Whatever, the i300 is the successor to the 1.5GB prototype Samsung showed off in September 2004.

Running 'Magneto' - better known as Windows Mobile 2005 - the handset is being pitched primarily as a music phone, with support for AAC, AAC Plus and Ogg, in addition to MP3 and WMA. It also supports MPEG 4, H.263, H.264 and WMV for video.

Like the V770, the 160g i300 features a digital audio amplifier, this time with 3D surround-sound capabilities, connected to stereo speakers.

There's a 1.3 megapixel digicam with flash on board too, feeding the 240 x 320, 262,000-colour display. In addition to the cellular radio, there's Bluetooth and Infrared too. Samsung didn't say how much memory the handset will feature, but it uses TransFlash for expansion.

Alas, there's no word yet on a release date, pricing or carrier support. ®

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